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Stocks to Watch: Exar, Yahoo!, Alexion

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Exar (EXAR - Get Report) could see active trading on Thursday after the company lowered its financial outlook, citing the impact of weak economic conditions in Europe and Asia and continued inventory corrections.

The Fremont, Calif.-based semiconductor company said it now sees revenue of $28 million to $30 million for its fiscal third quarter ending in December and it estimated non-GAAP gross margin at 48%-50%.

The current average estimate of two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for breakeven results from Exar in the quarter on revenue of $33.1 million. On Oct. 25, the company forecast revenue of $32 million to $34 million and non-GAAP gross margin of 49%-51% for the quarter.

The stock closed Wednesday at $6.67, down 4.4% for 2011.

Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) is again being discussed as a potential acquisition target.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that China's Alibaba Group has hired U.S. lobbyist firm Duberstein Group in a sign that it could pursue a deal to acquire all of Yahoo! if efforts to buy back some of its assets fail.

Yahoo! shares closed Wednesday at $15.78, down 2% for the session and around 5% for the year.

After Wednesday's closing bell, Alexion Pharmaceuticals (ALXN - Get Report) said it's agreed to acquire privately held Enobia Pharma for a total of $1.08 billion.

Alexion is paying $610 million in cash upfront for Enobia, whose lead product candidate is a proposed treatment for hypophosphatasia, a rare metabolic disease. The deal includes the potential for additional considerations of up to $470 million based on the achievement of certain regulatory and sales milestones.

Shares of Alexion finished Wednesday at $70.92, down 63 cents. Year-to-date the stock has gained more than 75%, hitting a 52-week high of $72.18 on Dec. 27.

Leggett & Platt (LEG - Get Report) said it expects to record a pre-tax charge of $36 million in its fiscal fourth quarter related to restructuring activities, including the closing of certain facilities.

The Carthage, Mo.-based manufacturer said it expects the charge to reduce earnings by 16 cents a share. Excluding items, its previous forecast for a profit of $1.15 to $1.20 a share for fiscal 2011 remains intact. Including the charge, the company anticipates earnings of 99 cents to $1.04 a share for the full year.
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